Tricks to Keep Halloween Safe and Fun

Trick or Treater

From a kid’s perspective, what could be better than Halloween — dressing in costume, asking (and actually getting) candy. But, in the excitement of the day, it can be easy to overlook simple safety tips that can help ensure the only scary parts are the costumes.

Costume Safety

  • Use makeup instead of masks. Masks can make it difficult for kids to see and breathe. But, make sure the makeup is safe and non-toxic and remove it before your child goes to bed.

  • Strive for light-colored costumes, or add glow-in-the-dark tape to the front and back to help ensure kids are easily seen by others.
  • Avoid oversized or high-heeled shoes that could cause your kids to trip, and similarly, keep hats, wigs, skirts, pants and even shirtsleeves fitted to your child.
  • If your child has to carry props, like a wand or shield, make sure it is flexible, soft and right for your child’s size. Remember he or she is going to be trying to carry it along with a bag for candy.
  • Consider adding an interior pocket if the costume doesn’t already include one so your child can carry a cell phone and identification if he or she is going with another group.


Twice as many kids are killed while walking on Halloween as compared to any other day of the year. It’s a sad statistic, but by taking some simple precautions you can help ensure your child stays safe.

  • Don’t assume your child knows how to stay safe. Go over some basic safety tips for the evening.
  • Teach kids to call 9-1-1, or their local emergency number, if they have an emergency or become lost.
  • If your child is under 12, make sure he or she is accompanied by a trusted adult who will be supervising.
  • For kids who are older and going on their own, make sure you know the route they’ll be taking and when you expect them back. Limit trick-or-treating to your neighborhood.
  • Make sure kids know the “rules” – only go to houses with porch lights on, never enter a house or a car for a treat, stay with the group.
  • Always walk on sidewalks or if there are no sidewalks, stay to the far edge of the road facing traffic.
  • Walk, don’t run from house to house.
  • Look both ways before crossing the street and only cross at cross walks.
  • Never enter the home of a stranger.
  • Make sure your child has a flashlight with fresh batteries.
  • Have a filling meal or snack before going so kids won’t be tempted to eat a lot of candy.

Gobbling the Goodies

  • Make sure you inspect the treats before your kids dive in to ensure they’re all properly wrapped.
  • Avoid eating homemade treats.
  • Set some limits to how much candy is available to kids. Don’t let them keep the bag of candy in their room, and determine how much they can have the night of and a few days after.
  • Consider letting kids have a treat or two each day rather than just setting out a big bowl (it will help you limit how much you indulge too).
  • Don’t allow young children to have hard candy or gum that could cause choking.
  • Consider starting a tradition of the “Halloween Pumpkin” – encourage kids to leave their bag of candy outside their door at night, swap it with a toy so when they wake up, they’ll have something fun.
  • Try one of these 15 uses for leftover candy.

Keeping it Fun

With so many guidelines it can seem like all the fun is being taken out of the holiday. But help kids discover it’s about more than just the candy – it’s dressing in fun costumes and having a good time with friends. Maybe it’s even trying to scare each other a little bit. So bundle up, get your flashlight and have fun out there.

What are your kids dressing up as this year?

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